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Creigh Deeds Distances Himself From Tim Kaine

by @ 1:48 pm on August 22, 2009. Filed under 2009 Governor's Race, Bob McDonnell, Creigh Deeds, Virginia, Virginia Politics

Today’s Washington Post notes that the current Virginia Governor and the Democrat that wishes to replace him, while friends, aren’t exactly emphasizing their relationship:

RICHMOND — Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine calls state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, as often as every other day some weeks to plot strategy and commiserate about the unrelenting, road-tripping life of a candidate.

Kaine has hosted several events for his good friend, including fundraisers and private luncheons, directed $550,000 to his campaign and recorded a radio ad for him. Their staffs consult daily, and Kaine’s wife has even called Deeds’s wife to help her navigate the role of being a candidate’s spouse.

But while Kaine is fully invested in helping to elect Deeds, campaign officials realize it’s not always politically beneficial for Deeds to be publicly associated with him. His popularity rating remains above 50 percent but is waning, and his position as chairman of the Democratic National Committee brings with it the burdens of a national party that voters are viewing with increasing skepticism. Some Democrats have also privately criticized the governor for oddly timed announcements that had the effect of overshadowing Deeds campaign events.

As a result, Deeds has subtly sought to limit his public connections to Kaine, a strategy the politically savvy governor has blessed. On Friday, for instance, Deeds aired his first television ad of the general election campaign. It includes a clip of Deeds walking with Sen. Mark Warner (D), but makes no mention of Kaine.

McDonnell campaign ad about Deeds’s connections with Kaine coming in 3, 2, 1………

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